Best Available: Ten defensive ends still on the board
Nearly 75 percent of the Rivals250 in the class of 2019 were committed to college programs entering their senior year. That leaves a very small pool of potential prospects as programs gear up for the early signing period, which starts on Dec. 19. This week we take a position-by-position look at the top prospects still on the board.
A planned early enrollee, Thibodeaux will sign in the December period which means he has a little over three months to make a college selection. The work toward that decision has already begun, with a Florida State official visit taking place on Sept. 1. Future official visits are being planned to Alabama for the Sept. 21 weekend and Oregon for the Nov. 2 weekend. Florida and USC are expected to get the final two official visits for the five-star defensive end.
Now the highest-ranked strongside defensive end prospect after the latest update to the Rivals100, Harrison’s recruitment looks to be coming down to a trio of Big Ten programs. The hometown Ohio State Buckeyes are everyone’s favorite pick for obvious reasons, but Michigan has put up a strong fight in this recruitment and Penn State will not go away either. Official visits have already been made to all three schools, but he could get back for games this fall.
The Defensive Line MVP of the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas in June will miss the start of his senior season after suffering a knee injury last month. While he is unable to play, Bogle has ramped up his college visits. He made an unofficial to Alabama for their home opener, then took his first official visit to Texas A&M this past weekend. Upcoming official visits are scheduled to Ole Miss, Tennessee and Alabama, with Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Miami and Oregon also still in-play.
An extremely well-rounded defensive end prospect who had a good showing at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge this summer, Stripling has been a highly-coveted defensive end by programs across the nation. He determined in early summer that Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M would receive his five official visits, but the dates of those trips have yet to be set. A final decision on his college destination is not expected until those visits have taken place.
A top seven of Georgia, Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington was released by Pakola in June, and he subsequently took his first official of the process visit days later to USC. Pakola’s second official visit took place on the opening weekend of college football to UCLA and plans to take his next official visit to Notre Dame the weekend of Sept. 14. Pakola may be difficult to pull away from the Bay Area and local program Stanford in the end, though.
Robinson has narrowed down his list of 20 scholarship offers, but the exact schools that make up that top group is being kept close to the vest by the Phoenix-area prospect. A few schools can be confidently assumed, though, because he has set official visits to Cal on Oct. 12, Nebraska on Nov. 16 and Alabama on Nov. 23. Stanford is also considered a strong contender in this recruitment and is a good bet to get one of the final two official visits.
A tall, rangy defensive end out of Sacremento, Latu released an all-Pac-12 top five on Aug. 31 that consisted of Cal, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington. He then immediately got to work on official visits by taking off for UCLA later that same weekend. Next up is an official visit to Oregon the weekend of Sept. 21, and an official visit to Washington for the Dec. 14 has also already been scheduled. The Cal and USC official visits will be scheduled at a later time.
When it comes to defensive end prospects your team could target late, Los Angeles native Stephon Wright is a candidate. He listed a top 10 back in late winter, but has opened it up since. Wright took his first official visit to Colorado in late April. He then went four months before taking his second official visit, which went to Illinois this past weekend. Contenders for future official visits include Oregon, TCU and Washington, but USC is the team to beat here.
New York City is more known for their basketball talent than their football talent, but one of the best available defensive end prospects left in this 2019 class resides in Brooklyn. Isaac is a lean, but explosive rush end. He released a top 10 in July which included a Texas A&M program he made his first official visit to in April. His most recent unofficial visit went to Penn State on July 28, which was his fifth recruiting trip to State College. Future official visits have yet to be determined.
In preparation for his senior year, and final stretch before the signing period, Weaver released a top six that consisted of Cincinnati, Louisville, Kentucky, Miami, Purdue and Tennessee. An official visit was already taken to Purdue in June, and the Boilermakers would love to keep that Louisville pipeline open after getting freshman sensation Rondale Moore from there in the 2018 class. The next scheduled official visit for Weaver is planned to Miami the weekend of Oct. 5